Having a crime happen to you or a loved one can be very upsetting and disruptive, and sometimes the effects may be felt for a long time after the crime occurs.
Particularly if someone is hurt, it can be difficult to know what to do – but you do not have to deal with it alone.
The Victims of Crime Helpline can provide advice and connect you with services that may be able to help you or you can use this website to learn more about the justice system in Victoria and what to do next.
What is aggravated burglary?
Burglary occurs when a person enters a building or part of a building without permission in order to steal something or damage property.
In some circumstances, such as if the person is carrying a weapon during the burglary or enters the building when they know someone is inside, the burglary is considered more serious and the crime will be called an aggravated burglary.
In some cases, aggravated burglary can happen as part of a larger pattern of criminal behaviours such as:
If you are injured by the intruder, this may be a physical assault.
Charges related to aggravated burglary
There are a range of offences related to an aggravated burglary. They include:
If physical violence is used or threatened, the charges may include:
- common, aggravated and more serious assault (physical assault)
- causing injury or serious injury
- threats to kill or inflict serious injury
- destroying or damaging property intending to endanger life.
Free support across Victoria
The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can also provide advice and support with:
- referrals to other services
- assisting with contact with police
- applying for financial assistance
- advice on how to improve your personal safety.
Understanding the traumatic effects of crime
Having an intruder in your home when you are there can be a very distressing and worrying experience, even if there is no physical violence. Everyone’s response is different, but it can be helpful to understand the common feelings and physical reactions people have and what to expect.
On this website, you can learn more about:
- common emotional and physical reactions to stressful events like crimes
- suggestions to help you with recovery
- how to best support a family member or friend
- how to help a child who has been affected by crime.
Report an aggravated burglary
The most important thing is to try to ensure your safety and that of anyone else in the house. If you believe an intruder is on your property or if anyone is in immediate danger:
- leave or find a safe place to hide, if possible
- call police on Triple Zero (000).
If the intruder has left and there is no immediate danger, you can report the crime by:
- calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444
- calling or going to your local police station
- using Victoria Police’s online reporting tool (for items/damage up to $5000)
- confidentially reporting the information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
What will happen if an aggravated burglary is reported?
When a crime such as an aggravated burglary is reported to police, they can:
- attend the scene and deal with any intruders
- secure the location (if that is appropriate), or provide advice on how to do so to make sure it is safe
- collect evidence and investigate what happened
- try to find the person who did the burglary and/or locate your missing property.
Evidence that may be needed
If your home has been broken into, it is best to report it to police as soon as you can and avoid disturbing the scene until they can tell you what to do next. This will allow police to gather as much evidence as possible.
The police may ask for your cooperation to gather evidence. This can include:
- photographs and other evidence from the location the crime happened
- a list of missing property describing the items.
Sometimes, if your possessions are recovered, they may be needed as evidence for the court case. The police will return them to you as soon as possible.
If someone is charged
If an accused person is found by the police, they may be charged and the justice process will start.
This website explains the justice process in Victoria. You can learn about:
- police investigations
- how charges are laid
- what happens when a case goes to court
- what you need to do if you have to go to court.
Seeking compensation or return of your property
The Victorian government does not provide financial assistance for property lost or damaged because of burglary. You may be entitled to apply for financial assistance from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) for any physical or mental harm you suffer during the crime.
You may be able to:
If you have an insurance policy covering your property, you may be able to make a claim for the cost of replacing or repairing it. You may need a copy of the crime report from the police to do this. Contact your insurance company for more information.
Seek the return of your property or compensation directly from the offender
If a person is charged with taking your possessions and/or damaging your property, you may be able to apply for a court order to make the offender:
- return your stolen possessions
- pay you for what any lost, damaged or sold property is worth.
You can learn more about seeking compensation from an offender.
Other things you can do to protect yourself from burglary
Learn more about protecting your property from burglary
You can take steps to make your property more secure and protect your possessions. Find out more from:
Let police know if you are going away for a while
If your home is going to be empty for an extended period, you can register with the police. Find out more on the Victoria Police website.
Deal with a neighbourhood dispute
Sometimes a dispute with neighbours may lead to the entry of someone onto your property without your permission. If you do not wish to deal with the situation by reporting to police, you may wish to consider dispute mediation. You can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria for:
- information and advice on how to deal with a dispute
- dispute mediation.
Counselling and crisis support services
24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Mental health care plan – see your General Practitioner
If you need assistance, you can see a General Practitioner and discuss your situation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan that will assist with the cost of counselling.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Legal Help service provides free general legal information over the phone and by chat online.